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  1. #11
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zago View Post
    Remember, everything in holy scripture now proven to be objectively false was really meant as a "metaphor".

    Guess it has to be right? I mean really I could see a metaphor in literally just about anything.

    The question regarding the second half of the post is what a Phd in "Islamic Science" actually means; does it refer to the history of Islamic Science, or is this person truly supposed to be some special kind of scientist?
    I suspect is refers to a history of science degree/background, but would need to know more about his university and department to be sure. When I was in school, a course entitled "Islamic science" would have been about that.

    The real value in any religious accounts is metaphorical. Unfortunately some people think they must be able to claim historical/factual accuracy for the stories to have any worth, and that debunking the veracity on this level debunks or insults the entire faith. Not at all so, just those who want to interpret things literally. The better answer to "is this story from your holy book factually correct" is "it doesn't matter; the moral or lesson is independent of that".

    Quote Originally Posted by Mole View Post
    And you are still trying to pick an argument with me.

    I can't put you on Ignore as you are a moderator.

    Plainly you intend to continue to abuse your position as moderator.
    I am participating in a public thread, like anyone else. I am not going to refrain from posting in threads just because you are doing so also. If you are so intent in ignoring me, it might help if you actually do it.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  2. #12
    The Typing Tabby grey_beard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alea_iacta_est View Post
    Thank you for your thoroughly written argument, however, in the case of the last statement, if God were to have directly intervened, it still has to compete against the probability argument. What's more probable, God directly parting the Red Sea, or a man lied?

    A counterargument to the probability argument would be one of the newer theories of the matter altogether, that the Hebrews actually did cross the Red Sea, but it was never parted, and they didn't use boats. Some people have claimed that the Hebrews actually went to the very Northern Part of the Red Sea during a year where the Red Sea's water was receded and actually crossed to the other side via a hilly route that was previously much deeper, but was now closer to the surface and would be able to walk on. The Egyptians, if they didn't know the exact route, would go forth into the water and then be surprised when they realized that they couldn't cross and dive into the water, (unless a few of them got on the route). It's entirely probable for this to happen if all of the circumstances are present.
    "If we had ham, then we could have ham and eggs, if we had any eggs."
    I hear you, but still do not concur. There are two issues.
    First is that -- read this CAREFULLY!! as I am not attempting to instigate a flamewar --
    it *appears* you are relying implicitly upon philsophical naturalism, or at least methodological naturalism.
    "Any non-miraculous explanation is to be preferred under all circumstances to a supernatural one; and if it
    really looks like *that* much of a foregone conclusion, dismiss the episode as fanciful altogether, or at least
    re-cast it into a blurred-by-retelling account of a *real*, but nominally similar event, which *can* be
    explained by natural means."

    There's a place I'd like to take this conversation, but I'd rather go at a glacial pace -- generally if one goes too quickly it leads to mutual recriminations and reinforcement of stereotypes on both sides.

    I will just add the question for now, from your point of view, how is one supposed to know (a priori, or ab initio, depending on your point of view), "how likely" it is that God will intervene? Not a refutation of your position but a logistical difficulty in implementing it...
    Last edited by grey_beard; 02-01-2014 at 11:47 AM. Reason: two s/h/b too
    "Love never needs time. But friendship always needs time. More and more and more time, up to long past midnight." -- The Crime of Captain Gahagan

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  3. #13
    The Typing Tabby grey_beard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beorn View Post
    Science has no authority apart from religion.

    The authority of science stems not merely from the ability to make observation, but from being able to predict the future based on those observations. Such predictions rely most fundamentally on an unprovable presupposition and doctrine of uniformity of nature apart from which it's impossible to predict anything. Christianity in particular can account for such a belief. The atheistic materialist cannot account for this and yet persists in their own logical inconsistency.
    Concur; but most people don't bring such things up at this stage of the argument.
    Another point is that *since* ("for the moment" as it were) nature appears to be regular and predictable, to the extent that properly constructed predictions seem to work the world over (hence the offshoring of factory production from the United States allowing engineering and materials science to be applied anywhere), science both makes predictions and (in principle, if applied correctly) has built-in error-bar-creating, error-removing features which enables one to make predictions with confidence. Religion doesn't have this feature: but it is not primarily in the business of prediction, but of moral suasion, which is an entirely different beast in the first place. Further, it deals with the human heart and soul, which have not yet been quantified, so a true knowledge of the initial state of the system (necessary for science) is by definition lacking: and the lack of knowing what is really in someone else's heart, also means that falsifiability runs into speed bumps too...
    "Love never needs time. But friendship always needs time. More and more and more time, up to long past midnight." -- The Crime of Captain Gahagan

    Please comment on my johari / nohari pages.

  4. #14
    Senior Member Alea_iacta_est's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grey_beard View Post
    "If we had ham, then we could have ham and eggs, if we had any eggs."
    I hear you, but still do not concur. There are two issues.
    First is that -- read this CAREFULLY!! as I am not attempting to instigate a flamewar --
    it *appears* you are relying implicitly upon philsophical naturalism, or at least methodological naturalism.
    "Any non-miraculous explanation is to be preferred under all circumstances to a supernatural one; and if it
    really looks like *that* much of a foregone conclusion, dismiss the episode as fanciful altogether, or at least
    re-cast it into a blurred-by-retelling account of a *real*, but nominally similar event, which *can* be
    explained by natural means."

    There's a place I'd like to take this conversation, but I'd rather go at a glacial pace -- generally if one goes two
    quickly it leads to mutual recriminations and reinforcement of stereotypes on both sides.

    I will just add the question for now, from your point of view, how is one supposed to know (a priori, or ab initio, depending on your point of view), "how likely" it is that God will intervene? Not a refutation of your position but a logistical difficulty in implementing it...
    Yeah, I'm not looking for a flamewar, just a regular debate, and I thank you for that.

    I do operate on a bit of a philosophical naturalism under your own description of it, but it is more rooted in the Enlightenment Age philosophy as simply relying on reasoning to understand the world around us rather than supernatural or spiritual explanations, which is, indeed, a preference.

    It is impossible to know how likely it is that God will intervene, as there is no prior, concrete evidence that can easily be cited and be utterly objective to base a prediction on. In the case of a man lying, there is evidence that can easily be cited and can be utterly objective in long term history, that men do lie and it has been proven. While the bible is usually the most credible source on how God intervenes in this world, it cannot be proven objectively as it derived from one source that could be corrupt or could have misinterpreted the situation. In the case of a man lying, I could easily sight a multiple source argument such as Napoleon deceiving the United States that France would stop confiscating American vessels and the impressment of the United State's sailors to regain American trade routes. In fact, Napoleon lied, did not stop confiscating vessels, and, to Britain, it looked as though the United States had aligned with Napoleon, thus contributing to a cause of the War of 1812 (both theaters of war).

    I follow the side with the most provable, objective, evidence in the form of several sources and credible sources.
    Last edited by Alea_iacta_est; 02-01-2014 at 12:02 PM. Reason: Error

  5. #15
    The Typing Tabby grey_beard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alea_iacta_est View Post
    Yeah, I'm not looking for a flamewar, just a regular debate, and I thank you for that.

    I do operate on a bit of a philosophical naturalism under your own description of it, but it is more rooted in the Enlightenment Age philosophy as simply relying on reasoning to understand the world around us rather than supernatural or spiritual explanations, which is, indeed, a preference.

    It is impossible to know how likely it is that God will intervene, as there is no prior, concrete evidence that can easily be cited and be utterly objective to base a prediction on. In the case of a man lying, there is evidence that can easily be cited and can be utterly objective in long term history, that men do lie and it has been proven. While the bible is usually the most credible source on how God intervenes in this world, it cannot be proven objectively as it derived from one source that could be corrupt or could have misinterpreted the situation. In the case of a man lying, I could easily sight a multiple source argument such as Napoleon deceiving the United States to stop confiscating American vessels and the impressment of the United State's sailors to regain American trade routes. In fact, Napoleon lied, did not stop confiscating vessels, and, to Britain, it looked as though the United States had aligned with Napoleon, thus contributing to a cause of the War of 1812 (both theaters of war).

    I follow the side with the most provable, objective, evidence in the form of several sources and credible sources.
    Posting from work so I won't reply for awhile: I'm sitting up with several sick computer programs...
    I have several different responses to each of your points, but not time.
    Teasers in proof of good faith on my part.
    1) who says miracles are an "explanation"? Considering how miracles "usually are" so to speak -- to the *participants* and not to chat-room dwellers millenia later, in a different language and culture -- "explanation" (especially ones philosophically satsifying and watertight to critics), is usually the *last* thing on their mind.
    2) "He was unable to do many mighty works there because of their lack of faith" -- miracles are a *personal* expression of God, within Christianity, much as a relationship with another person...and if you rub God the wrong way or piss Him off, He's not obligated to jump through hoops
    3) because of this God does not appear uniform in the way (say) colligative properties of water are
    4) "well, we can't know likelihood for God, but we *can* estimate people lying" -->
    "what are you looking for?"
    "my wallet"
    (helps him look)
    --half an hour later--
    "are you sure you dropped your wallet around here?"
    "no, I dropped it down the street and around the corner."
    !!! -what! why are we looking *here*--!!!
    "well, it's dark over there, the light's better over here."
    Mentioning Napoleon --> reminds me of the old Saturday Night Skit on "re-enacting history", "What if Napoleon had a B-52 bomber at Waterloo?"
    I follow the side with the most provable, objective, evidence in the form of several sources and credible sources.
    "Objective" is a nifty word here, since it pushes the debate back one level, akin to extraterrestrial origin of life pushing back on abiogenesis. And "provable" is good, except that the tools and assumptions for that are (uniformity of causes in a closed system, equal a priori probabilities, Occam's razor) geard towards parsimony in models (to enforce eliminating false *positives*), and don't do so well at eliminating false *negatives*; and don't do so well towards personal agents with sentience and choice (God).
    It gets a lot more hairy than people think, once you open up the can of worms though.
    Sorry, gotta get some coding done. I'll drop in maybe after the Super Bowl, unless I change my mind...
    "Love never needs time. But friendship always needs time. More and more and more time, up to long past midnight." -- The Crime of Captain Gahagan

    Please comment on my johari / nohari pages.

  6. #16
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    It helps to actually define what Islamic Science is.

    It's about the origins of science from the perspective of early Islam (and Islamic philosophers), as a contribution to the field of religious studies overall. It's not about attempting to seize a part of science and label it Islamic.

    So, it's not about theft of science. In fact, it's exactly the opposite. It's about how Islam developed its own perspectives on science and shared them with the world at large.

  7. #17
    Senior Member Alea_iacta_est's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grey_beard View Post
    Posting from work so I won't reply for awhile: I'm sitting up with several sick computer programs...
    I have several different responses to each of your points, but not time.
    Teasers in proof of good faith on my part.
    1) who says miracles are an "explanation"? Considering how miracles "usually are" so to speak -- to the *participants* and not to chat-room dwellers millenia later, in a different language and culture -- "explanation" (especially ones philosophically satsifying and watertight to critics), is usually the *last* thing on their mind.
    2) "He was unable to do many mighty works there because of their lack of faith" -- miracles are a *personal* expression of God, within Christianity, much as a relationship with another person...and if you rub God the wrong way or piss Him off, He's not obligated to jump through hoops
    3) because of this God does not appear uniform in the way (say) colligative properties of water are
    4) "well, we can't know likelihood for God, but we *can* estimate people lying" -->
    "what are you looking for?"
    "my wallet"
    (helps him look)
    --half an hour later--
    "are you sure you dropped your wallet around here?"
    "no, I dropped it down the street and around the corner."
    !!! -what! why are we looking *here*--!!!
    "well, it's dark over there, the light's better over here."
    Mentioning Napoleon --> reminds me of the old Saturday Night Skit on "re-enacting history", "What if Napoleon had a B-52 bomber at Waterloo?"
    I follow the side with the most provable, objective, evidence in the form of several sources and credible sources.
    "Objective" is a nifty word here, since it pushes the debate back one level, akin to extraterrestrial origin of life pushing back on abiogenesis. And "provable" is good, except that the tools and assumptions for that are (uniformity of causes in a closed system, equal a priori probabilities, Occam's razor) geard towards parsimony in models (to enforce eliminating false *positives*), and don't do so well at eliminating false *negatives*; and don't do so well towards personal agents with sentience and choice (God).
    It gets a lot more hairy than people think, once you open up the can of worms though.
    Sorry, gotta get some coding done. I'll drop in maybe after the Super Bowl, unless I change my mind...
    In the form of the probability, it is much more likely that man would lie than a miracle to take place through the form of past observations.

    If you have a person throw a ball under the exact same circumstances each time and the ball lands in the same spot every time, which is more likely? That the ball will land in the same spot again after throwing it, or that the ball will stop mid-air and plummet downward? While we don't have evidence that says against the ball stopping in mid-air and plummeting downward, we have much more credible evidence that the ball will continue the same path and land in the exact same spot as it did before. That is the essence of my argument. While we cannot disprove an intervention of God, it is more probable that the present will follow predictions and evidence laid out for us in the past than take the path less traveled, which is still a viable option, but one of less certainty that the actual path.

    With miracles, we don't always have strict boundaries that define what a miracle really is. At what point is something miraculous and at what point is it not? I could claim that it is a miracle that I am functioning as a multi-cellular organism that acts very much akin to a machine, which is incredible in of itself, but it isn't truly miraculous because this has always happened, people have always been multi-cellular organisms that act like machines. (This argument seems a lot like Si come to think of it)

  8. #18
    Senior Member zago's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    I suspect is refers to a history of science degree/background, but would need to know more about his university and department to be sure. When I was in school, a course entitled "Islamic science" would have been about that.

    The real value in any religious accounts is metaphorical. Unfortunately some people think they must be able to claim historical/factual accuracy for the stories to have any worth, and that debunking the veracity on this level debunks or insults the entire faith. Not at all so, just those who want to interpret things literally. The better answer to "is this story from your holy book factually correct" is "it doesn't matter; the moral or lesson is independent of that".
    I think that the stuff in the bible was meant to be literal. I can't prove that, but why else would it talk about things like Adam and his family's ages, saying exactly how long they lived and such? Where is the metaphor in that?

    Gotta remember, people didn't know a shred about evolution or geologic time or the big bang or the universe or anything back then. This is literally the best they could come up with. They believed in straight-up magic.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by grey_beard View Post
    You are incorrect. Science is not based on authority in the first place. It is based on empiricism.
    Yes, you are quite right. Science is based on evidence and reason coming out of the European Enlightenment of the 17th and 18th centuries.

    And science has been so successful it has shaped our modern world. So science has immense kudos. And it is this kudos the different religions covert and steal.

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alea_iacta_est View Post
    the Hebrews actually did cross the Red Sea, but it was never parted, and they didn't use boats. Some people have claimed that the Hebrews actually went to the very Northern Part of the Red Sea during a year where the Red Sea's water was receded and actually crossed to the other side via a hilly route that was previously much deeper, but was now closer to the surface and would be able to walk on. The Egyptians, if they didn't know the exact route, would go forth into the water and then be surprised when they realized that they couldn't cross and dive into the water, (unless a few of them got on the route). It's entirely probable for this to happen if all of the circumstances are present.
    Israeli archeologists have determined their were no Jews in Egypt at the time of the Pharoh, and that there was no Exodus, and so no crossing of the Red Sea.

    We now know it didn't happen.

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